Mercedes-Benz, Jawbone and Whirlpool are among the first companies to integrate their products with Nest’s smart thermostat and smoke alarm
Google-owned thermostat and smoke alarm maker, Nest Labs, has announced a new programme to encourage developers to integrate their products and services with Nest’s own devices.
Over the past year, a multitude of connected devices have come onto the market – ranging from a from a toothbrush that analyses your brushing habits to a smart door lock that sends you a text when it is activated.
All of these devices claim to be part of the ‘smart home’ of the future. But the vision for the smart home is not just about hooking up everyday objects to the internet. It’s also about connecting them to one another.
Nest’s developer programme allows anything from lighting to appliances to fitness bands and cars to connect with the Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect alarm, with the aim of making homes safer, more energy efficient, and more ‘aware’.
To kick off the programme, Nest has partnered with a range of brands including Mercedes-Benz, Jawbone, Whirlpool, Logitech, Chamberlain, LIFX and IFTTT.
For example, your Mercedes-Benz car can now tell Nest when you’ll be home so that your thermostat can start heating or cooling at exactly the right time to ensure the house is the right temperature when you walk in the door.
Or your Jawbone UP24 band can detect when you wake up and tell Nest to start to heating up or cooling down the home before you even step out of bed.
If you’re out for the day, your Nest thermostat can have your Whirlpool washer and dryer keep clothes fresh and wrinkle-free when the cycle ends. The dryer can also switch into a longer, more energy efficient cycle when you’re away.
Or if Nest Protect detects elevated smoke or carbon monoxide levels, LIFX light bulbs can flash red to let you know there might be danger and help signal those who are hearing impaired.
These integrations are just the beginning, according to Nest, and the company hopes that many developers – from global corporations and small companies to startups and tinkerers – will build integrations with Nest products using the Nest application programming interfaces (APIs).
Google Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers have also launched a ‘Thoughtful Things Fund’ to help smaller developers get the support and visibility necessary to get their projects off the ground.
“We have no idea what people are going to do, and that’s part of what makes this so exciting. It’s a lot like when the iPhone came out, there were the apps that Apple pre-loaded, and then there were the thousands of apps that people went to on to build,” said Matt Rogers, founder and vice president of engineering at Nest.
“We did a hackathon internally to see what people would do, and we had a developer do a Shabbat app, to make the temperature constant from Friday night to Saturday night because he was Jewish. We had a developer create a Twitter handle for his house, so he could Tweet his house to say he’s coming home.”
Rogers explained that customers will be able to see and manage all their integrations within the Nest app, but the intention is not to replace existing apps, which offer their own unique interfaces and experiences.
“We don’t really believe in this ‘one app to rule them all’ strategy, because what happens is you lose a lot of the interesting features and benefits that each product brings,” he said.
Nest requires all developers to let users know what information they are requesting and why they are requesting it, so that when users choose to authorise a connection between their Nest device and another product, they understand exactly what they’re authorising and how it will benefit them.
Nest also limits the amount of data held by developers by not sending them personally identifiable information about users or permitting them to retain more than 10 trailing days of data. Users can choose to disconnect an integration at anytime.